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May 4, 2010 11:36 AM

Help for a midwestern CH

I'll be in town for business for a few days, staying on West 40th but walking to meetings on Broadway, all near Times Square. I love all kinds of food and am not concerned about expense, but I will be a female alone, probably mostly walking. I'd love recommendations for accessible (meaning close to my orbit for this trip) and good NY style pizza, for bagels, and dinner recommendations. Could be anything - from sushi to Italian to Thai; like I said, I really love all kinds of food, but I'd prefer to focus on food that's hard to find here in Ohio. For the record, we have decent Vietnamese, Korean, and Indian in Dayton so those are probably the things I'm least interested in pursuing this trip. Thanks in advance; I appreciate your assistance!

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  1. West 40th and what avenue? Having the exact cross street is best.

    Although you say you're not concerned about expense, it's best to give a price ceiling including tax (nearly 9%), tip (15-20%), and wine/drinks. That way we don't recommend anything that's completely out of your price range.

    This couple, for example, is staying at 40th and 5th, there are some recommendations nearby in the thread:

    You are not too far from one of the best sushi restaurants in the city, Sushi Yasuda, BUT it is rather expensive. For good Italian, you are also quite close to Esca, a seafood-based Italian restaurant that's bar of Mario Batali's restaurant group. Although it's seafood focused, the appetizers and pastas are excellent. But it can also be a bit pricey. For bagels in Times Square, a lot of hounds like Times Square Hot Bagels. For Thai food, I'd go to Hell's Kitchen and check out Pam Real Thai.

    Again, it's hard to make recommendations without knowing a little bit more about your preferences: adventurous or not, spicy food or not, price range, atmosphere preferences, cuisine avoids, allergies, etc. Also, there are tons of restaurants within a short walk (10-15 min) of Times Square and even more within a 20-30 min. subway ride. If you venture outside of Times Square you will have MANY more options.

    You're very close to two of the better Sichuan restaurants in the city: Lan Sheng and Szechuan Gourmet. is also a good resource for checking out what is nearby.

    Don't leave NY without eating these foods:

    Pizza in NYC varies in style of gas oven, coal oven, wood oven, etc. Some recommendations:

    Try out some street food, of which you'll probably find some ethnic cuisines that aren't on Ohio:

    I highly recommend RGR's self guided Lower East Side Gustatory tour even though it's a bit far from Midtown. The LES is one of NY's historically important neighborhoods:

    Sushi Yasuda
    204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

    Szechuan Gourmet
    21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

    402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

    Lan Sheng
    60 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks, kathryn. Here are some more specifics. Staying near West 40th and 8th, walking to Broadway between 45th and 46th for meetings. As for price, anything less than $150 for a meal with a glass of wine and tax and tip would be fine. I truly like all kinds of food, so to me that means I'm an adventurous eater. I've not found a fruit or vegetable that I don't like, including durian :-), I have no allergies or aversions, and I eat meat and seafood as well. This is a short business trip and I'll be alone, so that's why I asked for recommendation close to where I'm staying or working. I appreciate the suggestions you provided. I'd read RGR's tour, and although it sounds like a lot of fun, won't have the time to pursue it this time. I hope to return to the city soon with my husband, and have much more time to pursue deliciousness!

      1. re: kathryn

        I second Esca and Sezchuan Gourmet. Near Times Square you also have Top Chef guest judge Chef Charlie Palmer's Aureole (42nd and 6th), which is awesome and I've dined solo at the bar very comfortably for dinner. Classic New York is also the Grand Central Oyster Bar. I don't love the entrees, but the raw bar is awesome, the space is amazing and it's a great excuse to explore historic grand central while downing gimlets. There a many solo business people there too. There is also an awesome old school bar called The Campbell Apartment tucked away in grand central that is worth visiting.

        Grand Central Oyster Bar
        89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

        402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

        Campbell Apartment
        89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

      2. try kyotofu for really interesting japanese desserts. they have dinner/lunch food too. something different for sure.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sedela

          Definitely second Kyotofu for an adventurous eater! If you're a chocolate fan, get their chocolate cupcake (full not mini) for dessert.
          For bagels: it is a bit far, but H&H bagels is on 46th b/w 11th and West side highway.
          Towards the east is Aquavit, in the upper 50s around the park/madison ave area (sorry, don't remember exact cross streets): high end scandinavian
          Towards the west along 9th ave are lots of small, inexpensive/casual ethnic spots such as Gazala Place (Israeli, fun to try their druse though I don't find their main dishes to be spectacular), multiple Ethiopian spots (Red Sea, Meskerem, Queen of Sheba), and Kyotofu. Also, there is Casselula Wine/Cheese which has a fantastic selection of cheeses and small plates made with the cheese, as well as a nice selection of wines. Very cozy; on 52nd and 9th I believe.
          If you'd really like pizza, I would recommend heading downtown if you have a chance for somewhere like Keste or Motorino, but one option would be the Patsy's in midtown, just south of the park.

          705 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

          Gazala Place
          709 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

          Queen of Sheba
          650 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

          468 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

          349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

        2. why restrict yourself to walkable distance? i see you won't have a car but jumping on a cab is easy in the city. from midtown you can get to pretty much anywhere in manhattan for under $20

          i'd second yasuda. but you should get a reservation to be at the head chef's station at the sushi bar. for the full experience, you'll let the guy feed you whatever he wants until you say enough. it's true it can get expensive this way. but you could also just go for lunch and ask for say 10 pieces of the best stuff of the day.

          20 blocks north is columbus circle where you'll find some of the best fine dinning restaurants in the city: jean georges, per se. if expense is really not a concern at all, you can go to masa too. lol

          1. Just a brief report back. Thanks to all for your suggestions. I got in on Monday afternoon early enough to walk over to MoMA and spend the afternoon. Afterwards, I ate at the bar at the Modern. Great food and the bartenders were wonderful; we were discussing food and wine matches, and they poured me several tastes of different wines to try.

            Had lunch at Juniors since it was across the street from my meetings, and it was fine; the matzoh ball soup and the cheesecake were both good, and others seemed happy with their choices. Also had lunch at Frankie and Johnny's Steakhouse; the hamburger was very good and huge, with both fries and fried onions, for $13 this is a deal - two could easily share (I left over half).

            Did dinner at Escla one night; it was also very good, and did dinner the last night at Aureole. I would have preferred one of the Szechuan or Thai places, but my dinner companion didn't care for Asian food. All-in-all, I found the food to be well-prepared and presented at both places, the service great, and prices at both to be very reasonable; way less than the $150 per meal inclusive cap that I'd nominally determined.

            Thanks again, folks!